The Crossfit Games are the olympics of Crossfit. They are held each year in Aromas, California and claim the winner is the “fittest person on earth” (check out more info about the Games). Whether or not you believe this claim (personally, I think the Games simply find the fittest Crossfitter on earth), the competition is definitely an awesome test of fitness and fun to watch. In order to make it to the Games, athletes need to complete a series of sectional qualifiers held all over the world. The top athletes from the sectional qualifiers advance to regional qualifiers, and the top athletes from the regionals move on to the actual Games.
This year, I decided to participate in the Northern California Sectional Qualifier to see how my fitness compares to that of other Crossfitters. The NorCal Qualifier took place on an olympic track at a high school in San Jose over the weekend of March 27-28. This post will describe my experiences on the first day.
Day 1: Saturday, March 27
One of the unique challenges in the Crossfit Games is that you don’t know what the workouts will be until a few days before the actual event. Since the workouts can contain almost anything - long distance running, sprinting, olympic weight lifting, powerlifting, gymnastics, rowing, climbing, kettlebells, jumping, etc - athletes have to train all aspects of their fitness equally. For the NorCal qualifier, each athlete was scheduled for two workouts on Saturday. My first workout was at 1PM:
Against a 6-minute running clock:
- Run 800m
- Max rep overhead squats (115lbs)
Scored by total number of overhead squats.
Reps completed: 44
Rank: 22 (out of 256 competitors)
I’m typically a terrible runner, but today I felt great. I heavily paced myself on the 800m, going at a light jog to make sure I had plenty left for the OH squats, but was surprised to finish the two laps in just 2:55. After that, I snatched the weight up and got squatting. My shoulders are pretty tight, so locking out 115lbs overhead for ~3 minutes was pretty tough. However, with the crowd cheering everyone on, I was able to get 44 reps, a 7 rep PR over my attempt in the gym at the same workout earlier in the week.
At 5PM, I had my second workout:
Max rounds plus reps in 10 minutes of:
- 7 Thrusters (115lbs)
- 12 Kettlebell Swings (53lbs)
- 7 Pull-ups (Chest-to-Bar)
Rounds completed: 4 + 7 thrusters + 9 swings (120 reps total)
Rank: 109 (out of 256 competitors)
Crossfit always finds your weaknesses and one of mine is poor shoulder flexibility/mobility. I had some 15 KB swings not counted because I didn’t get the KB vertical enough. I couldn’t consciously get my shoulders to go that far back, so the only way I got valid reps was by driving the KB hard enough with my hips that its momentum pulled my arms back enough. This obviously took a ton of effort - as did all the discounted reps - and I fell far short of my 6 round goal. Of course, I have no one to blame but myself: the rules were known beforehand and the judging was completely fair.
Standings at the end of Day 1
I ended the day in 54th place out of 256 competitors. In order to qualify for the regionals, I’d have to be in one of the top 20 spots, so I had a long way to go. On the other hand, 54th place was good enough to avoid elimination, so I knew I’d be back for Sunday.